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Shootings Stars 2016
by Birgit Schrumpf

Now in its 19th year, the European Shooting Stars were presented during a festive awards ceremony at  the Berlinale Palast. Ten prominent young actors from across Europe were chosen  by a jury of international industry experts. The promising candidates were  nominated by the member organizations of European Film Promotions (EFP). The  aim of the EFP is to raise the profile of European film internationally and to  offer a platform for promising young talent.

During the first week of the 66th  Berlin International Film Festival (February 11-21, 2016) the chosen ten  talented actresses/actors participated in a full program of interviews and  press conferences. They also had the opportunity to meet with different casting  directors, producers and agents. This often turns out to be a good chance to  enter the international stage. German actor Daniel Brühl (Shooting Star of  2003), who is this year's Shooting Star patron, says, “The Shooting Stars Award  put me in the right place at the right time”. He now is a much sought-after  actor and can be seen in films like Rush, Captain America : Civil War,  Colonia, Inglourius Basterds, Good Bye Lenin, etc.

The five jury members came from  Italy, Greece, Germany, Denmark, and Romania. Anamaria Marinca from Romania was  herself a Shooting Star in 2008. She comments, “Little did I know how  problematic it would be as a jury member to try to select just ten participants  from the 24 nominees put forward by the EFP this year. Our final selection  reflects the diversity and vitality of European cinema. We are proud to present  these emerging artists on a world stage at the Berlinale”.

This year's European Shooting  Stars are:

  Martha Canga Antonio from Belgium

  Thihana Lazoviċ from  Croatia

  Lou de Laâge from France

  Jella Haase from Germany

  Daphné Patakia from Greece

  Atli Óskar Fjalarsson from  Iceland

  Sara Serraiocco from Italy

  Reinout Scholten van Aschat from  The Netherlands

  Maria Valverde from Spain

  Kacey Mottet Klein from  Switzerland

Two of this year's Shooting Stars  could also be seen on screen during the Berlinale as their films were shown in  the official selection. The young Swiss actor Kacey Mottet Klein stars in Being  17. His other films are Keeper (2015), Sister (2012) and Gainsbourg  : A Heroic Life (2010). The jury's comment is: “Although the youngest of  this year's Shooting Stars, Kacey is alreay an experienced actor, having made  his screen debut at the age of ten. In Keeper he crosses into adulthood,  not only portraying a troubled yet tender adolescent, but also showing a firm  and very mature command of his craft”.

The Croation actress Tihana  Lazovic stars in the political drama On The Other Side screened in the  Panorama section of the Berlinale. Her previous films were The High Sun (2015) and Hush (2013). The jury's comment is: “Playing three characters  in three different stories of the Balkan conflict, Thihana carries all the  emotions of love and hatred in her raw, forceful screen presence. We saw an  instinctive, versatile actress who embodied the film's life-affirming  humanity”.

To German movie goers the young  actress Jella Haase is well known in her role as Chantal in Fack ju Göthe  (English title: Suck me Shakespeer). This German comedy opened in 2013 to  an unforeseen and totally surprising success. The sequel followed in September  2015 and was seen by 2.115.200 visitors during the first opening weekend. The  international box-office takings are 74 million euros up to the end of 2015.  This makes it one of the most successful German films. Jella's earlier films  also seen by the jury are Four Kings (2015) and Combat Girls (2012). The jury's comment is: “When  it comes to playing outspoken, rebellious and slightly trashy characters with a  heart of gold, Jella has German audiences at her feet – as witnessed again in Four Kings. Now we can’t wait to see her apply  that joyful energy in new, challenging and unexpected ways.”

Among previous years, Shooting Stars who have become  internationally famous are Rachel Weisz, Carey Mulligan, Nina Hoss, Mélanie  Laurent and Daniel Craig, to mention just a few.